Bali: Getting There, Visas and Healthcare

Getting There And Getting Around

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (also known as Denpasar International Airport), in the southern portion of the island has daily direct flights to nine cities in Australia including Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane. From here you can fly to 20 different places within Indonesia—most won’t cost you more than $150.

Having a scooter in Bali is the easiest way to get around because traffic can get congested, especially during high-season (July and August) and the holidays. There are a lot of places off the beaten path that you can’t get to with a car so having a scooter makes exploring more of an adventure. At $80 a month, renting a scooter is affordable and there are shops on every main road with loads of options. Buying a used one will only cost about $1,200.

Public transportation within the towns are mainly minibuses (bemos) and scooter-taxis. Fares range in the bemos, depending on the route, but are usually not more than $5 and the scooter taxis are about $2—but that price is negotiable.

Visas

The visa situation in Bali is a little complicated. To apply for a retirement visa, you must be 55 years old. It is best to use a local agent; there is a fair amount of paperwork involved, and it is important to use a local agency to make sure all the i’s are dotted, and t’s are crossed.

You will need a minimum of $2,000 per month for living expenses. According to Indosight, a company that handles all visas, you will need a copy of your passport, a copy of your bank account statement or proof that you are holding a pension (and any other documentation that proves you have sufficient funds at your disposal).

Once you are granted the visa you can convert it to a temporary residence permit. You can stay for one year in Bali, with four extensions, for a total of five years. After that time, you can apply for a permanent stay visa (KITAP).

Healthcare

Unlike destinations such as Malaysia and Thailand, Bali isn’t known for world-class healthcare. But there are a few private hospitals on the island everyone talks about: BLMC in Kuta and Siloam in Denpasar. They are only about one kilometre from each other and 20 minutes from the airport if you live in the south.

For minor issues there are small clinics in each town that are extremely affordable. If you have a serious healthcare concern, always do your research, visit the hospitals and meet the doctors before you move there.

The good thing about Bali is that there are so many direct flights to places with phenomenal healthcare…Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are all within a few hours’ flight should the need arise.

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